A Los Angeles high school has opened a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site to support its students and families, as cases in Los Angeles continue to rise.
Downtown’s Camino Nuevo Charter Academy recently began offering testing at Dalzell Lance High School.
Adriana Abich, CEO of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, said the testing site was started because they are aware that people of color have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Camino Neuvo serves mostly Latino students, as well as many students from low-income families, mixed-status families and immigrant families.
“We are an organization that has been here for 20 years,” Abich said. “We are a part of this community. And we’re dedicated to the total well-being of our students and our families. And so starting a testing site was just like the most natural thing to do to support our families and the community that we work in.”
The testing site sought to reduce the stigma surrounding getting tested for COVID-19 or testing positive, Abich added.
“By hosting this on our school site, we are telling families that we are here to support them, that testing is a positive thing, and our goal here is to slow the spread of this virus in the hotspot, which is exactly where our schools are.”
Los Angeles County set new records on December 6, with more than 10,000 new positive cases in a single day, according to the LA County Department of Public Health. The total number of cases reported in the county has surpassed 475,000.
California as a whole also felt the impact of the latest surge of the coronavirus, seeing the highest number of deaths in a single day on December 8, according to the county health department.
Camino Neuvo’s testing site serves about 500 people a day, said Larry Boone, principal of Dalzell Lance High School. The drive-thru testing is open Monday through Thursday, as well as Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., he added.
The charter school operator partnered with COVID-19 testing startup Curative Inc. to provide oral-fluid swab tests, which are painless. Those who want to get tested can set up appointments at curative.com.
“One of the tenets of our organization is that we believe in social justice, and this is a social justice issue that our constituents need access to testing, and we want to absolutely make sure that they’re not afraid of it,” Boone said. “So again, we just want to invite everybody out to participate and help slow the spread as much as possible."